A hike on the Hazelnut Trail at Montara Mountain leads you through several scrub communities and straight into a botanical puzzle.
Art & Design | Botany | Climate Change | El Niño | Fire | Fungi | Geology | History | The Bay | The Ocean | Urban Nature | Water | Weather | Wildlife
Old Hills, New Economies
The vast expanse of rugged country east of high-tech Santa Clara Valley, crowned by the Bay Area’s highest peak, has been a refuge for wild species—humans included—for a very long time.
Out of an Ancient Sea
The oak-dotted, rounded hills of Contra Costa and eastern Alameda counties are a familiar sight, but do you know how they got to be that way?
Peering into Muddy Waters
One measure of the ecological richness of the Bay is its role as a major nursery for five resident species of sharks.
What makes wildflowers so colorful?
At the precise moment we are looking at them, flowers are sending light rays back to us. But not all of them are sending us the same kind of light in the same way. The different colors are different wavelengths … Read more
Rush Ranch Protects One of the Few Remnants of Estuarine Marsh in the Bay Area
On the edge of the tidal marsh fringing Suisun Slough, a streaky dark-brown sparrow gleans seeds of tules and other rushes from the exposed mud. A shadow passes: a northern harrier, cruising for mice. The sparrow vanishes into a tangle … Read more
Letter from the Publisher: Introducing Bay Nature Magazine
For most of the nearly four years it has taken to turn BAY NATURE from an idea into the magazine you now hold in your hands, I worked out of my house in north Berkeley. Could be worse: there’s a … Read more
A Natural History of Oakland’s Lake Merritt
Lake Merritt changed dramatically over the centuries, but it still supports estuarine habitat — in addition to the recreation needs of a growing city.
Are there any resident animal species in the region that hibernate in winter, even though we don’t usually have snow or freezing temperatures?
That depends on what you mean by hibernation. All but one of the Bay Area’s 13 species of bats are capable of hibernating; the exception is the abundant Mexican free-tailed bat. But according to bat rehabilitator Patricia Winters, “No bat … Read more
Rivers in the Bay
San Francisco Bay presented a thrilling—yet possibly lethal—mystery to a young Spanish captain as he sailed up to probe the entry to the Golden Gate for the first time on the morning of August 5, 1775. Juan Manuel de Ayala … Read more